The Ohio Lottery planned to announce the next winners of the state’s Vax-a-Million vaccination incentive prices at 7:29 p.m. Wednesday at the end of the lottery’s Cash Explosion television show.
Wednesday is also the day the latest state orders aimed at curbing the spread of the coroanvirus expire, including, for unvaccinated individuals, the state mask order and social distancing requirements, and limits on seating in the restaurant tables. DeWine continues to urge people to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to wear masks if they are not vaccinated.
The only virus-related restrictions that will remain in effect after Wednesday are those involving nursing homes and assisted living facilities. But businesses and schools will still be able to demand masks and social distancing, if they choose.
Abbigail Bugenske, the $ 1 million winner last week, learned of her good luck minutes before her name was drawn when DeWine called her while she was driving to her parents’ home in the suburbs of Cleveland.
The mother of Joseph Costello, the winner of the college scholarship, was leaving work when the governor called and had to sit down, she was very surprised.
More than 3.2 million Ohioans entered their names for a $ 1 million shot, up from 2.8 million who had signed up for last week’s drawing. More than 133,000 children entered their names for the scholarship, up from just over 104,000 last week.
The names were actually drawn on Monday using a random number generator, to allow time to confirm the eligibility of the recipients. Vax-a-Million is available to permanent Ohio residents who have received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the first part of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
After Wednesday night, three winners over $ 1 million and college scholarships will be announced every Wednesday for the next three weeks.
DeWine, a Republican, announced the program on May 12 to increase lagged vaccination rates.
Participants must register to enter by phone or through the Vax-a-Million website. Teens can register themselves, but parents or legal guardians must verify their eligibility. The names of participants who do not win will carry over from week to week. The deadline for new registrations is just before midnight on Sunday.
More than 5.3 million people in Ohio had at least started the vaccination process as of this week, or about 45% of the state. About 4.7 million people have finished getting vaccinated, or about 40% of the state. Nationwide, more than 168 million Americans have started the vaccination process, or about 51% of the population. More than 135 million are fully vaccinated, or about 41%.
DeWine’s proposal inspired similar vaccine incentive lotteries in Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, New York State, and Oregon.
Vaccinated New Mexico residents who sign up for the state’s new “Vax 2 the Max” portal can win out of a $ 10 million prize pool that includes a $ 5 million grand prize, the governor said. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Tuesday.